Root yourself among us

Root yourself
among us

Together we can grow,
blossom and mature.

In our connected world every conscious human action in favour of preserving the quality of life becomes greater than the individual itself. From the rainforests and coral reefs all the way to forests and human beings, we are inseparably connected in a beautiful net of mutual dependence. Cooperation has created this incredibly complex ecosystem which we call Earth that gives us space for existence, nourishment and joy. It is time for us to learn to cooperate and grow together. ​Only immature species fall subject to the competitive aspect of evolution.

Organisation description

Strom života (SŽ) is an environmental, non-governmental, voluntary and non-profit organisation. It is independent of political entities, registered as a civic organisation and has over 40 years of experience throughout Slovakia.

SŽ awakens children's desire to learn, change, and act in favour of protecting and enhancing life on Earth through its experiential education about nature, the environment, and the quality of life. At the same time this organisation tries to evolve emotional intelligence in children, influence their value system and strengthen their personal responsibility towards themselves, others, and the world.


SŽ pays attention to topics such as personal development of children and youth, mainly through the development of creativity, communication and presentation skills, talent, reading literacy, competent media handling, and critical thinking. The organisation also supports artistic activities of young people, activities which support a healthy lifestyle, and activities that develop innovative and technical skills which are essential for their future life.

The organisation places particular emphasis on interactivity (teamwork, active citizenship, and idea sharing), personal experience (inquiry based learning and volunteering), spending time in nature (outdoor education) and a constructive approach to problem solving (communicate, tolerate different opinions, and avoid coercion). For SŽ it is important to form national historical consciousness based on our own culture leading to the tolerant coexistence of all cultures in integrated Europe.


Our partners are mainly professionals in various fields, other non-governmental organisations, state authorities and institutions, self-governing authorities, schools and universities, business entities, and foreign organisations.

SŽ declares its rejection of violence, bullying, intolerance, and extremism, as well as communism and fascism. The organisation does not tolerate discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, social status, mental or physical disabilities, sexual orientation, or political and religious beliefs, and carries out its activities in the spirit of democracy, openness, and acceptance in a safe and non-threatening environment.


Key Values

GROWTH – MIND AND HEART IN UNION

Knowledge about the environment and environmental problems doesn’t necessarily cause a change in one's behaviour, even though, deep inside, we are aware of our planet's destruction. It takes a lot of energy in the form of self-awareness to change one's behaviour. Hope only gives us a systematic and meaningful approach to children, whereas personal examples, discovery of mutual relations and trust allow us to truly analyse the impact of our actions on the environment and comprehensively develop the child's personality as well.

BLOOMING – PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AS A TOOL FOR CHANGE

Everything we experience in our life will stay with us forever. To initiate changes in a child's behaviour, experience is much more valuable than various warnings, lessons, or advice. Experience can unite their inner world with the reality outside, while the child itself can show initiative, creativity, emotions, or empathy. At the same time, experience can create space for cooperation, discussion, finding solutions, and making friends. On the other hand, experience itself is not the goal of our activities. For us, experience is only a tool for mastering the knowledge and skills needed to initiate a change in behaviour and values of children towards a more environmentally friendly way of life.

MATURITY – CONSCIOUS HUMAN ACTION IN FAVOUR OF PRESERVING QUALITY OF LIFE

Life is not based on human’s values, nor are we the crown of creation on this planet. We are members of a community and our arrogance threatens not only us but also life as a whole. People can be greater, deeper and nobler than we can imagine. All they need to do is realise the relativity of the physical world, deepen their sensitivity and respect for life, find the courage and willingness to participate in finding solutions for environmental problems, and start considering connections between environmental limits, technical and economic resources, and social presupposition for their living. Challenging goal? Perhaps. But every journey starts with the first step and this step is conscious human action towards preserving quality of life. Let's take this step together.

Our activities


THE ACTIVITIES OF THE ORGANISATION ARE IMPLEMENTED THROUGH THESE BASIC FORMS:

  • year-round programs for schools, families, but also for the general public, focused on environmental education, cultural heritage, and healthy lifestyle, as well as in the field of qualitative improvement of the educational process. These year-round programs are usually accompanied by field trips to nature and cultural monuments, competitions, etc.,
  • educational activities are carried out in different forms (professional trainings, workshops for children, field trips, conferences),
  • editorial activity is​​ mainly focused on publishing various articles but also on publishing professional books and magazine literature (magazines Treeling and Treeling Little),
  • work with volunteers and communities,
  • sharing examples of good practice,
  • other leisure activities for children, youth and adults ​focused on creative workshops, teamwork, eco games, activities in nature and sport,
  • activities which support the self-financing of the organization and increase visibility to professionals and the public.

Organisation structure


1. GENERAL ASSEMBLY

The highest authority is the General Assembly (GA) which is represented by members of SŽ, members of the Council of SŽ and members of the Control committee (CC). The GA is held once a year and is convened by the Council of SŽ or by the CC if necessary. The GA mainly decides about:

  • the creation, merging with other organisations, or the dissolution of SŽ,
  • approval of the organisation's Statute and program,
  • approval of Annual reports and plans for upcoming activities for the next period,
  • election or dismissal of members of the Council of SŽ and the members of the CC (the election period is two years).

2. THE COUNCIL OF SŽ

The Council of SŽ is the highest executive body and holds meetings between the GAs. The Council of SŽ is elected by the GA and comprises the Chair of the Council of SŽ and four other members. The Chair of the Council of SŽ is also the statutory representative of the organization.

Current members of the Council of SŽ are:

  • Ing. Jozef Kahan, PhD. (the Chair of the Council of SŽ)
  • Mgr. Adriana Kováčová
  • RNDr. Iveta Palúchová
  • Mgr. Vladimír Dobiaš
  • Mgr. Martin Zemko, PhD.

3. CLUBS OF SŽ

Since the GA in Dudince in 2006, all basic bodies of the organization are called Clubs. All of the Clubs have to comply with the following requirements:

  • the Club has to have at least three members, one of which is more than 18 years old,
  • the Club has to have a leader that is more than 18 years old,
  • registration of the Club at the SŽ office by filling out a membership application,
  • payment of the membership fee for the relevant year.

4. CONTROL COMMITTEE

Control committee of SŽ is a controlling authority directly linked to the GA of SŽ. It consists of two members.

The current members are:

  • Mgr. Monika Pjechová
  • Mgr. Richard Weber

The CC is authorized to inspect all accounting documents, ensure compliance with internal guidelines, alert the Chair of the Council of SŽ of discovered flaws, and solve conflicts within the organization. If the conflict is not solved within a reasonable period of time, the CC is authorized to make a decision which is binding for both sides. Decisions of the CC can only be changed by the GA, while a proposal for reconsideration can be presented to the Chair of the Council of SŽ by any side included in the conflict. The Chair´s obligation is to add this proposal to the GA´s program.


THE COUNCIL OF SŽ



Ing. Jozef Kahan PhD – The Chair of the Council of SŽ
Ing. Jozef Kahan PhD – The Chair of the Council of SŽ

University of Economics in Bratislava graduate with a focus on non-profit marketing. In 2012 he completed the PhD programme at the Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica, majoring in environmental management. At the beginning of his professional career he was a consultant in controlling, process management, and project management. Later he specialized in projects with an environmental focus for municipalities and cities. He is co-author of environmental education handbooks for elementary schools and has been working with youth since 1998 – at the beginning as a leader for camps of SŽ, later as a member of the Control committee and as the Head of the Council of SŽ since 2006. He is also a lecturer of outdoor and indoor educational activities.


Mgr. Adriana Kováčová
Mgr. Adriana Kováčová

Constantine The Philosopher University in Nitra (Faculty of Natural Sciences) graduate with qualification in mathematics – geography focusing on the environment. She has been with SŽ for over 10 years: 5 years as a volunteer at camps organized by SŽ (cultural heritage rescue), later as a project manager and leader of the ARBOR centre, lecturer (course for instructors of SŽ camps) and lecturer of workshops for teachers in the field of extracurricular environmental education. From 2007 she worked for the international e-learning organization Centre for Modern Education (SK), where she cooperated with elementary and high schools on projects focused on online education and the use of IKT in the teaching process. In 2014 she became a founding member of CO INAK.


RNDr. Iveta Palúchová
RNDr. Iveta Palúchová

Comenius University in Bratislava (Faculty of Natural Sciences) graduate with qualification in mathematics – geography. She has been working as a teacher at an elementary school in Radoľa since 1990. Iveta engages in environmental education, the organization’s leisure activities, and the realisation of summer camps focused on hiking and nature protection. She is the author of projects focused on environmental education, the modernization of the learning process, and the creator of a nature trail in Radoľa. She is a long-term member of SŽ and a Club leader.


Mgr. Vladimír Dobiaš
Mgr. Vladimír Dobiaš

Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica (Faculty of Natural Sciences, field of study - Environmental education) graduate. From 2005 to 2007 he participated in a project called LIFE which researched the impact of climate change on the landscape and residences in Piešťany. Later he worked at a studio of landscape and garden production and has been registered as a professionally qualified individual authorized to prepare documents of local ecological stability and wood species care since 2013. He is co-author of several studies and documentations with this focus and co-author of SŽ’s environmental education handbooks. From 2010 to 2017 he participated in the organization as a coordinator of environmental education. Currently he works as a professional arborist.


Mgr. Martin Zemko, PhD.
Mgr. Martin Zemko, PhD.

Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra (Teaching of academic subjects geography – ecology) graduate. In 2018 he completed his PhD studies in the field of Landscape protection and use. During university he was a volunteer at the organization ESN UKF for 6 years where he mainly participated in event preparation and realisation for foreign students and in section management. He is the author of projects focused on multiculturalism and increasing biodiversity in cities and participates on nature protection projects. He is co-author of publications focused on the modernization of education.


CONTROL COMMITTEE



Mgr. Monika Pjechová
Mgr. Monika Pjechová

Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra (Faculty of Natural Sciences,field of study –environmental ecology) graduate. She is co-author of the publication Water without boundaries – water towards the climate stability of regions and she participated in the creation of an internet catalogue of measures, solutions, and practical examples (Association of towns and communities of Slovakia). She specialized in guidance for communities when it came to projects focused on the environment. She has been with SŽ since 2009 as an environmental education coordinator and mostly takes care of communication with the Clubs of SŽ and the preparation of environmental activities.


Mgr. Richard Weber
Mgr. Richard Weber

Comenius University in Bratislava (Faculty of Management, field of study – personal management and business ethics) graduate. He has been with SŽ since 2011 as a program coordinator, later he started with graphic design as well. He has been a part of the youth organization AIESEC and took part in the project ESF (State institute of professional education). Among his significant activities in SŽ is the preparation of regular video series, graphic design of the organization´s educational materials and the assignment of competitions.


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